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Decreasing Dialysis Can Lead To Death

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

How healthy kidneys perform vs those those fighting kidney failure.

When your kidneys begin to fail, you will be asked to begin dialysis treatments if you do not have an approved kidney donor waiting to donate their kidney to you.

Percentages of Kidney Failure

People who are in kidney failure have varying percentages of failure. Everyone does not begin dialysis at the same level of kidney failure. Some may begin dialysis when their kidneys are functioning at 6% out of 100%. Others may begin dialysis when their kidneys are down to 2% of life left in them.

When your kidney function is low, this means that your kidneys are barely able to perform their essential duties of cleansing your blood of toxins and transforming the waste into urine.

Length of Dialysis Treatments

When someone with kidney failure starts dialysis for the very first time, their treatment times may be long because their kidneys are backed up from not having proper filtration in some time. Some patients undergo dialysis treatments for up to 12 hours nightly until their peritoneal dialysis nurse is able to shorten the length of their treatment time. Only a dialysis nurse should decrease treatment times, not patients.

You Are Not Your Dialysis Nurse

Dialysis treatments are essentially prescriptions. As a patient, you are not the nurse and should never alter your treatments. This includes decreasing your treatment time or injecting your treatments with heparin or other medicines that are usually included with your therapy, without expressed instruction from your nurse. Doing so could result in adverse health effects including death.

How Compliance Affects Kidney Transplants

If you’re seeking a kidney transplant, your transplant hospital can request your dialysis records to see how your treatments are going and also to see what type of patient you are. If you are found to be non-compliant and therefore not following your treatment plan, they can decide that you are not an ideal candidate to receive a kidney transplant. It’s vital to follow your treatment plan. Shaving even just 15 minutes off of your treatment is not advisable.

Why People Choose Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is one of the most convenient type dialysis for those who want to return to some sense of normality in their lives because treatments are performed while you sleep. PD is also preferred because you get daily treatments of dialysis which means that your body is getting rid of toxins daily and not building up toxins for days before your next treatment.

In a healthy body, kidneys filter all of the blood in the boy to remove extra water and waste products every 30 minutes. When you are in kidney failure, your kidneys are not functioning at the same capacity. If you're not able to get a kidney transplant, daily dialysis is best. Peritoneal dialysis is one of the only daily dialysis treatments available. When you’re on PD, a machine that acts as your kidneys cleanses your blood for 6 - 12 hours or whatever time period that your PD nurse prescribed you. Dialysis can only do 10 - 15% of what a normal kidney does. Outside of getting a kidney transplant, daily dialysis treatments are the closest functionality that you will get to a healthy person’s kidney function.

If you chose to perform dialysis in a clinic treatments are typically three times week for 4 - 6 hours at a time, causing patients to feel sick in between treatments.

We understand that performing dialysis at home, including both peritoneal and hemodialysis, is not for everyone.

If you don’t feel comfortable performing peritoneal dialysis, there are other types of dialysis that can be performed in a clinic by a nurse. They just won’t be daily so your body will be full of toxins until your next treatment. You will not feel as well as you would if you were getting dialysis daily.


This page contains general information about dialysis. Medical knowledge and practice can change rapidly. Therefore, this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

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